When the green flag drops to signal the start of the Daytona 500 on Sunday in front of more than 100,000 rabid fans, no one will be more excited than Joey Logano.
“You get fired up for the race,” the 25-year-old NASCAR star and Coca-Cola Racing Family member said during a phone interview. “We're down here for a couple of weeks, and we're ready to race by the time it gets going. It's a spectacle because it's a big race and we want to make sure it's done right from every point of view.”
Logano did things plenty right last season in an impressive campaign that saw the driver capture the Daytona 500 in thrilling fashion en route to a season in which he finished sixth in the overall standings and had 22 top-five finishes.
“We're pumped up for the beginning of the season after coming off a good season last year, winning six races,” he said. “We want to obviously do better than that, so it kind of all starts this weekend. I had a great run down here last year and we'd like to bring home another trophy.”
Team Penske /Harold Hinson Photography
Team Penske /Harold Hinson Photography
“I feel like we're obviously really very close,” he said. “Last year, we had a championship season when you look at the stats and the numbers we put up. It was definitely plenty good to win a championship, but we didn't win the right races at the right time. We're just improving on what we're doing. We're a very close-knit team and a team that's stuck together for the last three years. We've built a lot.”
Before he started prepping for Daytona and the remainder of the NASCAR schedule, Logano took some time out to join the rest of the Coca-Cola Racing Family – which includes fellow drivers Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick – to film some new commercials for the upcoming season that ties together Coke's longstanding relationship with NASCAR and encourages fans to enjoy a refreshing drink on race day.
“We have a good time for sure,” Logano said, laughing about the atmosphere on set. “Anytime you get a bunch of drivers together, you get a bunch of personalities, especially the Coca-Cola Racing Family. There's plenty of personality within the group. We have a good time. Usually we have some very heated ping-pong matches while we're waiting to get set up for our next shoot. That's where it gets pretty intense.”
And even though the Coca-Cola Racing Family drivers are all friendly, there's no doubt that bragging rights are always at stake.
“You want to be the top, for sure,” he said. “You want to be the top Coke driver on the racetrack, you want to win the Chug for Charity program. There is some rivalry there. We're all very competitive people, so we want to win in everything that we do. It's a friendly rivalry, so that's good.”
The driver, whose Joey Logano Foundation assists those across the nation who are in need of a second chance due to natural or human disaster, has an affinity for Coke that is evident in both his work and home life. He's an avid collector of Coca-Cola memorabilia of all kinds, including something that keeps everyone happy during long hours at the workshop.
“I like antique stuff and when some of your partners have been around for a very long time, like Coca-Cola, it's a really cool thing,” he said. “I have an old Coke fridge that we keep in the shop and it works. We always stock it back up with Coca-Cola products and when everyone comes over, we use that. It's really neat. I'm into that stuff. It's really unique and something different. It's a cool way to decorate your shop.”
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